10 things you may not know about THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

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Geek Dave returns to Middle-earth to complete the journey...


1. Back in 2006 when Guillermo del Toro was first attached to direct the movie, two new Middle-earth films were planned. Early on the concept for the second movie changed from being 'part 2 of The Hobbit' to a film which would bridge The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by drawing on events from them both. Del Toro even went as far as stating:
"The Hobbit is better contained in a single film and kept brisk and fluid with no artificial 'break point."
Peter Jackson shed some light on what would be seen in that second film:
"...one of the drawbacks of The Hobbit is its relatively light weight compared to LOTR. There's a lot of sections in which a character like Gandalf disappears for a while. – he references going off to meet with the White Council, who are actually characters like Galadriel and Saruman and people that we see in Lord of the Rings. He mysteriously vanishes for a while and then comes back, but we don't really know what goes on."
It was areas like this that would've been explored. However, by 2008 the 'bridging' movie idea had been dropped with del Toro now feeling...
"...the work is enormous and encompasses more than one film. That's why we are thinking of the two instalments as parts of a single narrative. That's why I keep putting down the use of a "bridge" film (posited initially). I think the concept as such is not relevant any more. I believe that the narrative and characters are rich enough to fit in two films."
After del Toro left the project Peter Jackson took up we he left off, saying that del Toro's vision would be felt in the final two movies.

2. The decision was made in July 2012, after 266 days of principal photography had wrapped, to extend the series to three films. The proposed second subtitle "There And Back Again" was still kept for the final film while the second film became "The Desolation of Smaug". The majority of the footage shot was used for the first and last films, with the original ending from the first film becoming the beginning of the new second film, and likewise the beginning of the third film now being used as the end of the second film.

In May 2013 an additional 10 weeks of filming took place in New Zealand, primarily for The Desolation of Smaug", but also including some extra scenes for the third movie.


3. It was less than 8 months prior to the third movie's release when Peter Jackson announced that the subtitle had been changed from "There And Back Again" to "The Battle of the Five Armies".
"There and Back Again' felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film. But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced - after all, Bilbo has already arrived 'there' in the Desolation of Smaug."
4. The finished movie covers the final seven chapters of The Hobbit, with a few elements added from the Appendices from The Lord of the Rings. A number of liberties were taken with the story for "cinematic gain", and certain characters were either rebranded (the book has no mention of Orcs, but a single mention of Hobgoblins), with others created especially (Toriel for example).

But one of the most surprising facts for those who have not read the book is that in Tolkein's novel the whole 'Battle' (of the Five Armies) takes place in just one chapter, and is described to the reader after the fact. While in the film, the Battle takes up nearly half of the running time.


5. Yet even though the finished movie features one of the longest battle sequences you are likely to see on film, The Battle of the Five Armies actually has the shortest running time of any of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth movies, coming in at 144 minutes.

(In ascending order of length, the previous films are; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - 161 minutes. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 169 minutes. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 178 minutes. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - 179 minutes. The Lord of the Rings: The. Return of the King - 201 minutes.)

Never fear Peter Jackson has revealed that the Extended Version will add 30 minutes onto the film.

6. This is the only one out of Peter Jackson's six Middle-earth films which does not begin with a flashback. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring began with the flashback of how the nine, seven three and One Ring came to be and the defeat of Sauron in the first and second ages; Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers began with the flashback of Gandalf and the Balrog fighting in Moria; Lord of the Rings: The Return Of the King began with the flashback of how Sméagol acquired the Ring and how Gollum came to be. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey began with the flashback of Bilbo writing his book and talking about the attack on Erebor by Smaug; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug began with a flashback of Thorin at The Prancing Pony in Bree, talking to Gandalf; but The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies begins with the bell ringing out at lake town as Smaug comes, continuing straight on from the previous installment.


7. Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett are the only actors to appear in all six of the Middle-earth films.

8. Billy Connolly's character, Daín Ironfoot, is the only character to curse in any of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films.

9. Billy Boyd, who played Pippin in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, co-wrote and performed the song "The Last Goodbye" for the end credits of this film.

10. Although The Battle of the Five Armies was a huge box office success (grossing over $955 million worldwide), calculating all expenses it turned out to be the third-highest profitable film in The Hobbit trilogy, and the sixth-highest amongst all the Middle-earth adaptations.

Read All Our Lord Of The Rings / The Hobbit Trivia Articles
The Actors Who Could've Been In The Lord Of The Rings
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
10 things you may not know about The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Samug
10 things you may not know about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
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